How to Build an Email List – Step by Step Guide

Build an Email List

Conventional internet marketing wisdom says that you need a list to make real money from your niche blog. While this isn’t necessarily the case (there are tons of other ways if you know how) – starting a list can be one of the most effective – especially for those who’re relatively new to trying to monetize their site.

If you’ve been a bit stumped about what to do next – you’re not alone. Simply knowing you need to start a list isn’t enough – this guide aims to give you a step-by-step walkthrough so you can get your first email subscriber. Hopefully the first of many.

Build an Email List

1. Get an autoresponder

Getting an autoresponder is one of the most important steps for setting up a successful email list. It simply collects your subscribers and sends them out emails in the order of your choice.

The most well-known of these is probably Aweber – but there are also some free alternatives available. MailChimp is a great alternative for those new to list building. It offers a free version for under 500 subscribers which should be enough to get you started.

After you’ve got your autoresponder, you’ll need to create some great content to send to your subscribers.

2. Create a list of valuable and informative mails for your autoresponder

If you’ve come into this with the idea of just spamming your subscribers and hoping for the best – you’re making a big mistake. Getting someone to sign up is a big first step, but if you take them for granted – you’ll be unsubscribed quickly.

Make sure you offer your list something valuable and informative. Whether you need a response queued for the first 10 days or the first 300 days is up to you – but each and every one of them should be worthwhile rather than just a place filler. You don’t have to email them every day either – sometimes less is more.

Your list of email responses should be a mix of free, valuable content along with the occasional special offer. Don’t try and get them to buy something every time you email them.

You can also sell spots on your list to other marketers in the same niche, but make sure their offer is good enough to pitch to your subscribers – don’t just take the highest bidder and devalue your list.

3. Offer real value to subscribers

A great list of responses is one thing – but it doesn’t mean much if nobody signs up. That’s why you need to create something valuable to offer as an incentive for them to opt-in – usually a free report or download.

The quality of your offer has a direct impact on how many people sign up to your list and stay subscribed after they’ve got it – so make it worthwhile. Don’t offer people something you can’t deliver or they won’t be happy with the emails they get next. Keep them satisfied and also keen to learn more so that they’re actively waiting for your next email.

Promote your list

4. Promote your list

Offering value to subscribers both before and after they opt-in is important – but so is promoting your list in the right places. You’d be surprised how many people bury their opt-in on a sub-page and then wonder why they aren’t getting many subscribers.

Make it clear what you want your visitors to do. In this case, it’s sign up to your list – so make sure there’s no doubt about how to do it. Keep your calls-to-action above the fold.

You could even go as far as creating specific landing pages for different sources of visitor. Tweak your page designs and try some A/B testing to find one that converts the most visitors.

And that’s how you start a list.

Hopefully this guide has shown you how to set up a list so you can start building your subscriber-base straight away. It’s not complicated – but it does take some time to tweak your offer so that it becomes a success.